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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cooking For A Cause: October 2015

This past Wednesday night, students had an opportunity to cook for less fortunate families in a Yeshivah of Flatbush program known as "Cooking for a Cause." This was the first event of the year. Each month students cook something different and the food is donated to a Chesed organization. This week the students made meatballs with peas for the Sephardic Bikur Holim food pantry. Thank you to master chefs, Susie Sorscher and Cookie Fishel for leading and sponsoring the event. Over 160 students took part in this amazing event. All participants had an amazing fun Chesed experience!!
Cooking for a Cause allows students to learn how to prepare a variety of entrees, dinners, and desserts while participating in a Chesed event. All of the food prepared in these events are sent to needy families who can then enjoy delicious homemade dinners.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Rabbi Dr. Raymond Harari, Rosh Yeshivah, visits our students studying in Israel for the year!

Rabbi Dr. Raymond Harari, Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School Head of School visited our alumni studying in Israel. Our alumni who have been learning in Israel for almost two months met up at the home of Dr. Rochelle Dweck, former faculty member and Yeshivah of Flatbush Israel liaison for this special meeting. The group had a chance to reconnect and share great stories of their yeshivas, Shabbatot, and classes over snacks and soda. Rabbi Harari wrapped up the "reunion" with an inspirational Dvar Torah and a promise of more reunions to come. We wish all of our alumni studying and living in Israel a wonderful and peaceful year.

Photo Credit: Merle Cohen, Class of 2015

Yachad/ Ohel Program: October 2015

On Wednesday October 14, Yeshivah of Flatbush held its first Yachad/ Ohel event of the year. Yeshivah of Flatbush students had the opportunity to interact with over 100 members from Yachad and Ohel. First, we played jeopardy and for every right answer, the Yachad members received a prize. Afterwards, we watched Yaakov Shwekey's new music video "I Can Be" and danced around in the auditorium. The best part of the night was the dancing and singing that took place in the school gym. Rabbi Besser, Dead of Students, led the group with fun and spiritual songs and the Flatbush students danced along with the Yachad/ Ohel members. After all the dancing and singing, pizza, French fries, and soda were distributed. Overall, it was a very successful night and we can't wait for the next one! 
~Sylvia Ashkenazie, Class of 2018

Friday, October 23, 2015

SGO Commission Fair 2015

To say that Yeshivah of Flatbush has a lot of extracurricular activities would be the understatement of the century. I knew that Flatbush had a lot to offer students outside the classroom, but I wasn't fully aware of the extent of opportunities Flatbush has for its students - until I planned Commission Fair with my fellow SGO members. We worked for weeks planning the Commission Fair to make sure we didn't leave out any commissions and ensure that we showcased everything to the best of our ability. 

On October 15th, we held the eighth annual Commission Fair. We introduced the students to the multitude of commissions and teams the school has to offer and encouraged them to get involved and take advantage of these amazing opportunities. We had everything from Pegasus, to Mathletes, to Falcons Nest. The displays of the commissions were beautiful and each commissioner was eager and excited to sign up new people and help get people involved. The Commission Fair showed me how Flatbush students balance everything and are well rounded - Flatbush students don't just bury their heads in their books, they are involved in many extracurricular activities. 
~Danielle Ashkenazie, SGO 2016 President

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Yeshivah of Flatbush Stands with Israel

Literature Comes Alive For Students

The Yeshivah of Flatbush English Department truly believes that literature should jump off the page. In order to create a more meaningful reading experience for the 9th grade assigned summer reading, Hotel On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford, survivors of the Japanese-American internment camps during WWII spoke to the grade last week. There was an informative panel discussion followed by a question and answer portion between our students and the survivors. The guests discussed their experiences, and their perspective helped our students understand that people’s stories are not a static historical document, but a living portrait of what occurred. Thank you to Mr. Miles Ehrenkranz for arranging this special learning opportunity.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Seniors 2016 Scavenger Hunt in Grand Central Station

Senior Council 2016 in Grand Central Station
Last Wednesday, the Yeshivah of Flatbush Class of 2016 went to Grand Central Station for a grade-wide scavenger hunt. This trip was an opportunity for the Seniors to have a fun day while bonding as a grade. Clues ranged from "start a flash mob" to "find a bride in a wedding gown." Some clues, such as the latter, were not so simple to find, however with some creativity teams managed to score those points (take a picture with a bride in a wedding gown in a magazine). The Seniors arrived at the Station at around 10:30, where they divided up into their teams and began their search. They had up until 12:50 to explore and capture their moments. And explore they did! Grand Central Station is massive, with food courts, tennis courts, the awesome whispering hall, and incredulously large Apple store. A few flash mobs later, the Seniors returned home and took a late lunch. Classes resumed in time for electives, and then the seniors were able to make it home, after a fun-filled, tiring day. 

Shout out to the winning team, Victoria Gindi, Danielle Ashkenazie, Sylvia Franco, Rachel Isayev, Gina Gindi, Katie Fischel, and to the runner-ups, Joe B., Isaac Shalom, Moses Betesh, Rose Mishaan, Evelyn Tawil, Merle Dweck, and Yvonne Benun. Thank you to Mr. Galpert, the faculty chaperones, Senior Council 2016, and our classmates for making this day not only possible but extremely entertaining and endlessly fun!
~Michelle Harari, Senior Council 2016 President

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

IDF Colonel Bentzi Gruber Shares Experiences With Students

This past Tuesday, October 13, 2015 Yeshivah of Flatbush had the privilege of hosting Colonel Bentzi Gruber who came to share his experiences in the Israeli Defense Forces with our Juniors and Seniors. Col. Gruber gave us an insight on what it's like to be in the army and ethics on the battlefield. "Doubt, no doubt, no shoot" as Gruber put it, as he touched upon the situation of having a doubt in the battlefield. In addition to battlefield ethics he spoke about some missions he went on and what he did in certain situations. He even went over a few military strategies with us. The students were attentive and amazed by some of the insights he shared. Senior, Stephanie Dweck said "I think its important that we are educated in these types of things, especially at times like this, when we are under constant attack." Gruber ended his speech with some motivating words as he emphasized the meaning of achdut, unity. Even though we are miles away from our homeland our hearts and prayers are always with our brothers and sisters in Israel.
~Clarice Soffer, Class of 2016

Pink Day 2015

On Monday October 19, 2015, the Yeshivah of Flatbush High School student body and faculty wore pink on what is known as Pink Day. For the last few years, students and faculty wear pink on one school day to help spread breast cancer awareness. The month of October is the Breast Cancer Awareness month. People all over the country find different ways to help spread awareness whether it be wearing pink, running marathons, giving money towards research, or just trying to make a patient smile. In the YOFHS it is customary that one day during the month of October, we would  pink to help spread awareness. Later that day, the whole school came together to take a picture of whoever wore pink; it was definitely hard to get everyone in the picture but we did it! Also, we collected Tzedakah to help research in this field. So.... until next year, THINK PINK!! ~Judy Shalam, Class of 2017

Monday, October 19, 2015

Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan 5776

This past Tuesday, October 13, 2015 Yeshivah of Flatbush had its first kumzitz of the year, bringing in Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan. With all the recent attacks in Israel it is important that we keep our brothers and sisters in mind, and that's what this kumzits was about. It was a time where we had a chance to reflect and pray, a time of Achdut, unity. Students and faculty, led by Dean of Students, Rabbi Naftali Besser, sang with their heart and souls for our brothers and sisters, Acheinu, in Israel.
We saw pictures of students doing chesed in Israel and here in the United States to inspire us to do more. With heavy hearts we sang as one, and were reminded that acts of kindness, or chesed, can help us get through tough times like this. ~Clarice Soffer, Class of 2016

Here is a short clip from the Kumzitz:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Falcon's Nest Notes: Girls Soccer Debuts at Flatbush

On a seasonably cool evening, the Flatbush girls took to the grass field of Comer Park to demonstrate that they deserve a spot on the school’s first ever outdoor girls soccer team.

Thursday night (10/8) saw over 15 Falcon outdoor soccer hopefuls gather at Comer Field, the baseball home for the yeshivah that now doubles as the school’s outdoor soccer practice site. Under the leadership of Head Coach Edie Koslowe, a former Falcon herself who advanced her own skills as a member of Yeshiva University’s Varsity Womens Soccer team, the girls gathered to show that they have the ability and skill to transfer what they have developed during the Yeshiva League’s spring indoor season to the natural setting of the game that is thought to be the most popular team sport in the world.
It was clear from the start that this is a different game from what the girls are used to, as Coach Koslowe put a premium on conditioning, “The 11-on-11 game requires that the players be able to cover ground over a significantly larger playing area,” noted Coach Koslowe. “We will clearly spend time as we go working on skills and team strategy, but the girls need to know that it is extremely important to be able to run as hard at the end of the game as it is at the start. That is all about conditioning.” At the start, middle and end, Coach Koslowe directed the Falcon hopefuls to push themselves on full laps of Comer Field.
In addition to showing off their fitness levels, players also demonstrated their abilities with the ball, showing they can handle passing, receiving and striking on the less than smooth surface of natural grass. It was both challenging and satisfying for many of the girls. “This is great!” shared Senior Merle Dweck, Dweck has been one of the student-athletes who has been lobbying strongly to expand the school’s soccer offerings to include the outdoor game. “It is really amazing to finally get the opportunity to play outdoors, like almost every other school.”

For others, the tryout was a real eye-opener. “I did not know what to expect,” shafred Freshman hopeful Esther Hidary. “Coach Koslowe seems very demanding, but I am very excited to see what we will be able to do. She siad it did not matter whether players are Seniors or newcomers. The girls who show they deserve to play will get to play. I am really looking forward to our next practice.”
This first evening of outdoor soccer was clearly a new challenge, but if the energy and enthusiasm of the players is any indication, it is just the start of something great for Flatbush’s student-athletes!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Students Spend Chol Hamoed Sukkot With Faculty

Yeshivah of Flatbush faculty members welcomed students to their Sukkot on Chol Hamoed to enjoy the Chag together.
Twelfth grade boys gathered at Rabbi Stern's home on Long Island for a Simchat Beit Hashoeiva and sumptuous BBQ. Rabbi Avi Harari joined them for the chance to bond with his students. After the meal they shared Divrei Torah and sang Zemirot. It was a great time for all.
The rain did not stop our twelfth grade girls from attending Mrs. Zaltzman's annual Senior Girls' Sukkot Brunch in the Sukkah. While they were not able to eat in the Sukkah because of the rain, all of the students made the best of the experience. These experiences give our students the opportunity to further develop their relationships with our faculty and each other beyond the classroom.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Pathfinders Update: Summer 2015 Experiences II

Over the summer Yeshivah of Flatbush students engaged in a variety of career building opportunities, exploring their interests outside of the classroom. These opportunities were facilitated by the Yeshivah of Flatbush Pathfinders Program. The students reflect on their summer experiences below:

Sabrina Abrahim with Dr. Grazi
This past summer I witnessed life happen. Yes, you read correctly. Through the help of Dr. Wolowelsky and the Pathfinders Program, I received an internship with Dr. Grazi, a reproductive endocrinologist. I had the opportunity to shadow office visits as well as surgeries. I even got to participate in new research projects, collecting data and spinning blood. I spent weeks in the embryology lab where I watched as the embryologist inject a sperm into an egg, which would fertilize and become an embryo, and in nine months would hopefully be a baby. So yes, this past past summer I witnessed life.
~Sabrina Abrahim, Class of 2016

Allan Bailey in the Courthouse
For the second half of my summer I interned for Judge Leon Ruchelsman at the Brooklyn Courthouse. He specializes is guardianship cases which are civil cases that deal with financial matters. Most of the time I listened to his hearings and filed paperwork. I also had the opportunity to explore many other divisions in the courts, not just civil but criminal, matrimonial, and family courts. I sat in on a few criminal cases and followed them for days to wait and here the results. These were really interesting. I also say in on a few divorce cases, which were interesting as well.

My experience in this courthouse combined law and finance. The paperwork that I filed was almost always rundowns of all of the financial activities and transactions made by the guardian in the civil cases. We had to review these and make sure that there was no corruption going on. Overall I thought it was a great business and law experience.
~Allan Bailey, Class of 2016

Clarice Soffer with professor and bag that she made herself
This past summer my friends and I signed up for FIT precollege classes through the Pathfinders Program. I signed up for two classes, bag design and jewelry making. In bag design I learned how to sew and deal with different kinds of leathers. I even made three bags by myself. In jewelry making I learned how to cut, anneal, texture, bend, etch and even enamel metal. I made many bracelets, rings and necklaces. These classes gave me a better understanding of what college life is like, I met many new people, had two professors and learned a lot of new skills. If it wasn't for this program I would have never known how much I enjoyed doing these things. Thank you Ms. Hanon and Pathfinders for informing me about it unique opportunity.
~Clarice Soffer

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Falcon's Nest Notes: Maccabi Greats Get Boys Basketball off to a Flying Start

With the help of Maccabi Tel Aviv greats both past and present, the Flatbush Boys Basketball team officially kicked off the 2015-16 season on Saturday night (10/3) with the first official practice under new Falcon Basketball head coaches Michael Gurock and Gus Kennedy.

The event was unusual for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is very much out of the ordinary to conduct such an event over a holiday break. Secondly, it is even more extraordinary to welcome guest coaches to be a part of any team's first official practice session. Yet, that is exactly what took place in the main gym of YOF's Joel Braverman High School.

In New York as part of their United States exhibition tour with Armani Milan (Italy), Maccabi Tel Aviv sent a pair of its legendary players along with a trio of home-grown Israeli talent that are part of the present team to help Coaches Gurock and Kennedy put the 2015-16 Falcons through their first paces. Derek Sharp, long-time Maccabi standout and member of multiple Euroleague championship teams, and David Blu, former USC star and recently retired member of the team's 2014 Euroleague championship squad led a combination of Flatbush JV and Varsity players through a number drills with the aid of present Maccabi players Dagan Yivzori, Yovel Zoosman and Itay Segev. Yivzori and Segev are also members of Israel's national team, and Zoosman is one of Israel's rising stars as a member of the country's under-21 national team.

But the young Falcon basketballers received an even bigger treat when they were joined by Israeli Basketball legend Tal Brody, considered by many as the father of modern Israeli basketball and the country's first great international athlete. Brody was a top college player at the University of Illinois in the 60's when he made his first trip to Israel as a member of the United States' Maccabiah team. He fell in love with the country and would soon join Maccabi Tel Aviv, bringing his knowledge and skill at the American game to the young country. In leading the team to its first-ever Euroleague championship in 1977, Brody was a key player in putting Israel "on the map" and bringing respectability as an international athletic competitior. As an Ambassador of Goodwill for Israel, the Maccabi legend shared some of his personal experiences, captivating the young Falcons and instilling pride and encouragement in bringing a positive attitude in striving to achieve ones' goals - athletically, academically and in every endeavor. With the words of inspiration given, Brody turned the group over the the expert hands of Coaches Sharp and Blu.

After putting the boys through conditioning and ball-handling drills, the players were divided into two balanced squads, with Derek Sharp given the helm of the Maroon team and David Blu charged with guiding the Gold Falcons. Zoosman sat along side Sharps' players, Segev mentored Blu's charges and Yivzori ran the game clock. Coach Gurock served as game official. Sharp animatedly roamed his team's sideline, amped up and urging the likes of Albert Richter, David Dayan and Isaac Arazi to run the offense and challenge on defense. Blu and Segev took a more methodical approach in guiding Abie Rosow, Jackie Mishaan, Eliot Beyda and their gold teammates as they took a commanding lead. But Sharp would not let that stand. Making sure everyone on his squad got to play, Sharp had his young charges push the play and with a key basket from rookie Jack Rosow, the maroon team slowly closed the gap. But a solid drive to the basket from veteran guard Kevin Haddad provided the edge the gold would need, and the scrimmage ended with Blu's Gold victorious over Sharp's Maroon.
Afterwards, the Falcons continued to bask in the glow of having the Maccabi greats on hand to start things off. "This was outstanding!" exclaimed the regularly hyperbolic Senior Albert Richter. "Sharing the court and warming up with the Maccabi players was a lot of fun." Jackie Mishaan took advantage of his time with Zoosman on the bench. "Just sitting and talking basketball with the Israeli pro was a really cool experience. What a great opportunity this was for all of us."

In the end, it was not about the score, but about the process. And with Maccabi on hand, this was a great start to what the Flatbush faithful anticipate will be a most glorious season. And, they will look back and know Maccabi Tel Aviv was there at the beginning, helping set the bar high!

You can see more pictures from the event at:

Friday, October 9, 2015

Parents and Students Learn About the College Financial Aid Process

Robert Friedman, University Director of Student Finance from Yeshiva University, recently visited the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School to offer an informative presentation on the ins and outs of the college financial aid process. Parents and students learned key terms pertaining to this important process as well as strategies and procedures for making college as affordable as possible. The College Guidance department at Yeshivah of Flatbush is committed to educating each student and family about the nuances of college admission, advising students about appropriate college options that suit their individual goals, and supporting and encouraging students as they navigate the college application process.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Careers in Sports Club Hosts Sports Agent from Roc Nation

Recently the Yeshivah of Flatbush Careers in Sports Club held their inaugural meeting. This unique club was created by students, Daniel Salzman and Ness Mugrabi, who wanted to share their interest in sports with other students. The Careers in Sports Club hosted guest speaker Ari Nissim. Nissim is a sports agent for Roc Nation, which is a sports agency owned and created by Jay-Z. He shared his experiences with the students and shared his journey to becoming an agent and developing his professional career. One  of the main points that Nissim focused on was the importance of relationship building. Building a relationship is an integral part about becoming successful in the business world. He stated that he received his first sporting internship with the New York Jets just by going up to GM Mike Tannenbaum in college and keeping in touch. This internship gave him a great experience as he proved that he was hard working. This led to a long stay with the Jets and then was welcomed to join Roc Nation almost 2 years ago.
The lessons that Mr. Nissim taught the students were that his little conversation with the Jets GM proved to be extremely important for his career. By keeping in touch in moderation and working hard, it is possible to succeed in life in ways you have only dreamed. The Careers in Sports Club is looking forward to many more informative meetings throughout the school year 
~Daniel Salzman and Mugrabi, Class of 2016

See the full presentation here:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pathfinders Update: Summer 2015 Experiences I

Over the summer Yeshivah of Flatbush students engaged in a variety of career building opportunities, exploring their interests outside of the classroom. These opportunities were facilitated by the Yeshivah of Flatbush Pathfinders Program. The students reflect on their summer experiences below:

Albert Aini (third from left) with his defense team and Hon. Robin K. Sheares
Through Pathfinders I worked at the New York State Supreme Court this summer where I gained a better understanding of the way our judicial system works. I was able to listen to hearings and cases and discuss them with judges and law secretaries. Aside from the actual court cases, I also learned how to work with other interns through the diverse programs they had available. For example, I played in a basketball game against the court officers, I was a part of a mock trial team, and I won a professional dress competition. Working there was an amazing experience. 
~Albert Aini, Class of 2016

The program I participated in this summer though Pathfinders was called the Scholars Program for Teens at the New York Historical Society. The program was a fusion of History, Journalism, and Literature. I was able to use some of the unique resources at the New York Historical Society, such as their special access library, to help me research and write an article for the nonprofit organization, Literary Manhattan. Literary Manhattan is a nonprofit organization that creates a connection between buildings in Manhattan to pieces of literature or an author. The ultimate goal of the program was to do just that. We each had to pick a building in Manhattan and discover its connection to an author or piece of writing. I wrote my article about Tiffany & Co. in Manhattan and its literary significance. Plus, I had the opportunity to meet and work with other students from different parts of the country.
~Daniella Babaee, Class of 2016

At the NYU Summer Institute of Music Production I learned how to use different types of microphones and sound techniques. I worked with frequencies and it was interesting coming out of Junior year to use my Trigonometry skills to work with sound waves. I also learned how to use the industry standard professional tools and gained experience working in a professional studio environment. ~Sonny Setton, Class of 2016

Sari Esses and Leah Linfield
This summer I had the privilege of being admitted into the Women in Science Program affiliated with Maimonides Medical Center. I, along with ten other high school girls including my classmate Leah Linfield, were each given the opportunity to shadow a doctor. I was assigned to shadow Dr. Victor Sasson, an orthopedic surgeon, for the whole month on July. I was able to observe patient care and surgeries, like knee and hip replacements. It was exciting and increased my interest in medicine. What I loved was that everyday brought new people, new stories, and new issues. There was no set routine. Some days I was able to observe the EMG and other days I got to "hang out" in the X-Ray room. I got to interact with all the doctors, residents, nurses, PAs, radiology technicians, and patients. Everyone answered my questions gladly and thoroughly. On Fridays the girls and I would attend resident meetings, lectures and lab simulations where we learned how to cast and scrub in before surgeries. I would definitely recommend this program to high school students in the future who are looking to learn about medicine, gain hands on experience, and meet new people.
~Sari Esses, Class of 2016

The opportunities that Pathfinders offered me this summer were life changing. My first internship at JBS Project Management taught me how to read blueprints, organize, and get a first-hand view of what goes on in a construction site. My coworkers were open to teaching me and were very welcoming. After this six week program, I had the opportunity to have a one week program at Bank Hapoalim, where I truly learned what a commercial bank does. They showed me how banks give loans, letters of credit, and I was able to sit one on one with the Vice President. Thank you for an unbelievable summer.
~Joseph J. Habert, Class of 2017

Morris Mamiye's Design Board
At the School of Architecture and Design at New York Institute of Technology this summer I used the tools that architects work with every day and started a portfolio. I learned how to create and cut plans, section models, and work on hatching skills in a small group setting. I worked on presentation skills and learned about depth, perception, and 3D models. I learned about architectural history by visiting conceptual design museums, the NYC High Line, and Roosevelt Island. And I got college credit! 
~Morris Mamiye, Class of 2017